If you want to see what Beverly Hills looked like back in the '50s, '60s and '70s, pay a visit to Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page and you will step into her time machine.
Martino is the daughter of singer and actor Al Martino (remember Spanish Eyes, one of Martino's signature hits?). She is also the curator of a massive archive of vintage Los Angeles images, many of which show Beverly Hills.
"I wanted to start a community where members could share their own personal memories," Martino said. "I love reading what others have to say about our beloved Los Angeles and Beverly Hills landmarks, so many of which have disappeared forever."
But these images are alive on Martino's Facebook page, where visitors can see shots of the old Beverly Hills public library on Rexford Drive (the exterior was used as Mike Brady's office on TV's The Brady Bunch), the Beverly Theatre with its Arabian-style rooftop on Beverly Drive, Blum's Coffee Shop on Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive, and even the famed Bistro restaurant on Canon Drive, which was featured in the 1975 Warren Beatty film Shampoo.
Martino's Facebook page has caused such an emotional reaction and grown so fast in popularity that she was recently profiled on The Huffington Post and on TV's Good Day LA. Vanity Fair magazine has expressed interest in an article about Martino and she is even shopping a TV show based on her collection. She also writes a blog on the subject.
"There is so much interest in the way things used to be," Martino said. "I want to show people who weren't around back then what streets like Wilshire and Rodeo looked like before the whole corporate thing began. Beverly Hills was a quaint, small town back then of all mom and pop stores."
Martino herself is a Beverly Hills native, having attended Hawthorne School and Beverly Hills High School.
"As a kid, we rarely ventured outside of Beverly Hills. It's such a small, but warm and inviting place to be," Martino said. "My dad was traveling for work all the time, around the world, but when he had downtime he liked to be with his family right here in the neighborhood."